Sicilian Mafia boss Messina Denaro dies in hospital: Italian media

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Messina Denaro was one of the most ruthless bosses in Cosa Nostra, the real-life Sicilian crime syndicate depicted in the 'Godfather' movies.

ROME - Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, captured in January after three decades on the run, has died in hospital in central Italy, the ANSA news agency reported Monday.

He was convicted by the courts of involvement in the murder of anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone in 1992 and in deadly bombings in Rome, Florence and Milan in 1993. But he remained the top name on Italy's most-wanted list and, increasingly became a figure of legend. In August, Messina Denaro was moved to the inmates' ward of the local hospital, where his condition had declined in recent days.

In interviews in custody since being arrested, Messina Denaro even denied he was a member of the Cosa Nostra.After Messina Denaro went on the run, there was intense speculation that he had gone abroad -- and he likely did. Don Ciccio was also head of the local clan. He was said to have died of a heart attack while on the run, his body left in the countryside, dressed for the funeral.


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